Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Love Those Crazy Names

I'll let you in on a secret: I really wish we'd had another child. Why? Because I had a really, really great name all picked out and it's a shame to let that go to waste.

Baby names are about the greatest topic of conversation out there because EVERYONE has an opinion and if you happen to be pregnant and are so foolish as to do a "test" by telling people the names you've picked out they'll have no problem telling you exactly how they feel about your choices.

There are great names, hilarious names, horrid names and names that you savor on the tongue each time you say it. I absolutely LOVE the sound of Jamaica Kincaid, always have, always will. But I'll tell you my dreams were shattered the first time I saw Madeline Albright--I felt rather betrayed after the regal and beautiful vision the name evoked.

When I was pregnant with Grace it was the fashion in our home state of Utah to take the first name of the mother and the first name of the father and glue them together in some abominable experiment that had "Frankenstein" written all over it. And let me tell you right now Mormons are the craziest people on the planet when it comes to bizarre baby names. When Judgment Day comes I prophesy that there will be many, many parents out there called to answer for the moniker they saddled their child with throughout their earthly sojourn and it will not be well with them.

Anyway . . . the woman who worked with me at Covey Leadership Center (yes, as in Stephen Covey, it's a long story) was named Michelle and her husband was Mark so they followed the crowd and produced a sweet innocent child that they named Marielle. Not Mary-elle, Mar-ee-elle. It sounded a lot weirder 17 years ago, trust me. But it wasn't nearly so bad as the couple down the hall who proudly told me they'd named their child Jaydeesa. I'm hoping the child had a glorious career in rap because that's about the only place a name like that would fit. I think they spelled it with a "Z" in there too.

I told my parents that we'd decided to embrace our adopted culture and use it to their honor by naming their first-born grandchild after them, hence the granddaughter of Melvin and Sharon would be either Melaron or Sharmel. We hadn't quite decided. We were able to keep a straight face for most of the time before letting them in on the joke and giving them the biggest relief of their lives. Doesn't Melaron just sound cancerous?? Or Sharmel? Is that the newest breed of dog?

I have seen every possible combination of letters thrown together with the letter J (and likewise K) to produce unique names for offspring and the result usually sounds as if it's being marketed by Pfizer as a treatment for herpes. I can just hear the commercial now: Take Kaydenza for when you get those nasty flareups!

People seem to produce names the way they produce smoothies. A handful of berries, a dash of vanilla, a little of this, a little of that, an "ELLE" or a "INE" for a suffix for femininity or a good old masculine "BR" or "K" for a boost of testosterone. Go figure. If only parenting took as much mental exertion as coming up with a unique name we'd have reached utopia by now.

The same parents who would never touch genetically engineered food will graft and splice consonants and syllables into unintelligible mutations, guaranteeing that no one will ever be able to 1) spell 2) pronounce or 3) assign a definite gender to the single greatest influencer in both how their child will perceive himself and how he will be perceived by his peers. I predict that in twenty years when all those poor unfortunate Nevaehs, Destinys, Brackens, and Keefers out there have attained adulthood they will rise up and in one class-action lawsuit suit and sue the United States government for failing to protect them from such abject cruelty.

"You named your daughter Jezebel? Really? And you don't think that's going to be a problem any time soon?"

Of course if you've read Freakanomics there's a whole section on the beauties of name trends. So many names try very hard to be pretentious and to rise above that middle class stigma (hence the bumper crop of Courtneys all those years ago--after all, Courtney sounds so regal to the middle class ear) but middle class names never get farther than their middle class origins. If you really want an upper class name (and I'm not talking celebrity names--they're not upper class in truth, they're just temporary wealth; here today, gone tomorrow) you'll do what the nobility do and go with royal names: Eugenie, Beatrice, Leopold, Ludwig, that kind of thing. I'm pretty sure that no where in recorded history is there a Queen Whitney or a King Brock though you might want to check the cast of Guiding Light where one such might be lurking. I could be wrong.

So go ahead--give me the worst names you've heard. Or the best because I do love hearing beautiful names as well. I've always thought that unusual foreign names are fun--I don't have problems with names that are unusual if they're real. I'm weird that way. When we were in India our driver, Sampath, had a daughter nicknamed Tulisee (Too-LISS-ee) and I swear that's about the most beautiful name I've ever heard, it just reeks of romance and flower gardens and she was as beautiful as her name. Saoirse is a gorgeous Irish name though I'd have a hard time giving it to a child knowing that American tongues would never pronounce it correctly.

And if you're interested in name trends here's one blogger's prediction of what the next hot names for boys and girls will be and there are some that aren't too bad. I'm kind of partial to Cicely, Elspeth, and Tamsin but Hamish, Balthazar, Oberon and Osias are a little harder to swallow.


Congratulations to Erin of Cedar City, Utah and Samantha of Lexington, Kentucky for winning the two Medela nursing packages. And congratulations to so many of you expectant and new mothers who entered--it's wonderful to hear of so many little babies out there. Quite exciting, really. Pick out some great names and if you really want to know what that mystery name we never used was I'll sell it to you. Kidding. Boy I loved that name.

Sponsored by Storkie.com for baby birth announcements


kadusey said...

I substitute taught for about a year, and oh, it was difficult to pronounce some of the names I saw on the rolls. My favorite "You really seriously named your child that?" name was a little terror of a third-grade girl who was named Tyrrany. Pronounced just the same as the word.

kadusey said...

I can't spell in the middle of the night. That should be Tyranny.

April said...

Oh, that's easy! How about these real names?

Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii
Yeah Detroit
Fish and Chips
Twisty Poi
Keenan Got Lucy
Sex Fruit
Benson, Hedges (twins)
Midnight Chardonnay
Number 16 Bus Shelter

And these are just from this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/jul/24/familyandrelationships.newzealand

I read somewhere else that Number 16 Bus Shelter was named such because that's where the child was conceived. *shudders*

April said...

Oops. this article.

Peruby said...

1915. My dad and his twin were born. 0dbert and 0bert.

Peruby said...

Yes, he got the nickname "Odd" through-out life.

Geekwif said...

My husband was recently telling me about an article he read about horrible baby names. One that they mentioned was Le-a. When they asked the mother how to pronounce it (an unusual spelling of Leah?) she replied vehemently, "It's Ledasha. The dash ain't silent!" The other one he told me about was a mispronunciation of a word I don't think you would want on your blog. Poor kid.

I work in a hospital and process all the paperwork for new babies, so I get to see some interesting names too. We recently had a James Dean, and a Vivian Leigh born on the same day (to different parents). Apparently they didn't realize the actress spelled her name with an e. I've also recently seen Jaxon (presumably they thought Jackson was too boring) and Danger, which I guess was the grandmother's idea and only begrudgingly used by the mother of the child.

April said...

Here's another article talking about sibling toddlers named JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell and Adolf Hitler Campbell. :/

Jolanthe said...

haha!! :) I'm laughing at some of the names left in the comments too. Why, oh why, do people not consider what their children will have to endure FOREVER???

Carina said...

Heard all sorts of crazy ones. The funniest recently was Le-ah. You would think that should be pronounced as Leah, but no. It's Luh-dash-uh. Great, no?

I really, really wanted to name our son Caoilfhionn, but my husband (and my mother, and my mother-in-law and all our other friends and family) wouldn't let me. It's pronounced Kee-lin. Wouldn't it be fun to have that name?

Kathy G said...

I've often wondered why some of the names in the Bible are common and everyday (James, John, Ruth and even lately Noah), while some of them are completely obscure (Azaniah, Nedabiah).

Raejean said...

I got so tired of people asking me what I was naming my first baby, I just started telling them Winnemucca; as in Winnemucca, Nevada. (Don't worry, we named her after my aunt Monica.)

TK said...

I used to work in childcare and have seen some doozies: Psychia(pronounced Sysha) and LaSaShay

MommyJ said...

I tried to pick really classic names when naming my kids. Jordan, Samuel, Lucy, Henry, Ivy. I don't get the whole combining names thing. I think it's just cruel and unusual. I've heard tell about a set of twins that were named lemonjelo and orangelo... as in orange jello and lemon jello. That could just be a really bad rumor though. I mean, it would have to be, right? Right?!

Janelle said...

You really need to make sure that your Cedar City winner hasn't named her kids anything funky before you send out the prize. ;)

I recently heard someone wanting to name their kid Brox. Huh?

When I was growing up, we had some family friends who were products of the combine-the-names process. My mom's friend was named Genae, which was a combination of her parents, Gene and Renae. I actually really liked that name. She married a man named Mel, and they had a daughter a few years younger than me, whom they named Genel. It's pronounced the same way my name is. Again, huh?

I have a friend named Cicely. I also have one named Kjirsti (pronounced CHAIR-stee). It's Scandinavian, not weird. It's also a traditional spelling, and I love it. I have a friend from high school who is adopted, but was born in Korea. She named her first daughter Seoul, which I thought was unique but not weird, and so meaningful. There definitely won't ever be another Seoul in her class growing up, but it's distinctive and memorable without being freakish.

Janelle said...


The Orangejello and Lemonjello is a story in Freakonomics, which Michelle alluded to. I had heard it before, and just assumed it was just an urban legend. The fact that it turned up in that book, which is extremely well-researched and fact-based, lent it a little more credence. At the time I read the book, I was temping for a public school district superintendent. I was talking to her about some of the things in the book, and I mentioned these twins. She told me that she had known them, about 15 years earlier, when they moved to the middle school over which she was principal at the time.

Urban legend confirmed!

InkMom said...

1. Antoniario Benjamorales (plus last name)
2. Xtaci (like ecstasy -- exotic dancer waiting to happen? I think so.)
3. Twins: Alexus and Rolexia
3. Scrotopulous (this one takes the cake for me.)

And I must back these up: I worked for ac company that provided a certain RSV preventive injection for premature babies. These names are so, so real -- I saw the paperwork with my own eyes. My sister-in-law worked for a while in an inner city eye clinic -- and she has a list a mile long of names she encountered there.

a Tonggu Momma said...

During my elementary years, I went to school with triplets who immigrated from another country. They simply translated their names into English and ended up as Apple, Peach and Pear. And kids - being kids - constantly taunted them with the ever-so-clever "do you have a brother named Banana?"

Kayris said...

Unusual names, even made up ones, don't bother me as much as they used to. All names had to be made up at some point. And alternative spellings don't bother me either, as long as they are reasonable. What's the difference between Stacy and Stacey or Theresa ad Teresa? But Tuhraysah? Not so cool. And you can't just ignore ethnic names. Hamish, a name I'd always loved, would be normal in Scotland, not so much in Baltimore.

I guess growing up with my name has made me immune to name stuff. And I'd much rather be named Kayris than one of thousands of Jessicas or Marys or Jennifers.

And even if you pick a simple name, you can't win. People ask how I spell my son's name--John. And people pronounce my daughter's name like a branch of the military. Her name is Maureen.

My son played softball this year with kids named Cyrus, Angus, Desmond, Owen and Louis, and had kids in his class named Corbin, Zander and Marilena. A friend of a friend named his son Dashiel.

Amber M. said...

We have such a monster LAST name that we took pity on our children and gave them easy first names. My mom always told us about a little girl she went to school with named Lily Pond. Not really strange, but just plain mean if you ask me.

We kept our first baby's name a secret until he was born, so we christened him "Harvey" until then. I think it about drove my mom crazy.

I loved reading all these horrible names!

Annette Lyon said...

Oh, man. One ward where I worked in Primary, it was the most bizarre thing seeing kids' names. The most memorable to me: Emily.

Except it was spelled


Poor kid is going to be spelling her name aloud her entire life.

My daughter has a friend named Alisheyeah (what the what)?

Ironically, my parents accidentally did the Frankenstein thing. Someone said, "Oh, neat. You named your daughter after both of you."

My sister is Melanie.

My parents: Melvin and Anne.

They didn't realize they'd done it until it was pointed out to them--but at least they'd used a REAL NAME!

We gave my kids very normal spellings of normal names, knowing that they'll be spelling their last names forever.

(That's LYON. L, Y, O, N. Yes, like the animal, but with a Y. No, there's no S.)

Janelle said...

Annette, I think I can beat your Emmaleigh spelling. I used to be a medical receptionist, and we had a patient who named her daughter Raien. As in, Ryan.

Scribbit said...

You're good sports about this--I'm guaranteed to offend so many with this post given how prevalent the trend with unique names is.

Luckily isn't not exactly a moral issue to name your kid something weird. Though I do think it's odd.

One mom's beautiful name is another mom's nightmare :)

And Kayris--I have to confess that of all the celebrity baby names I've heard the only one I've ever liked is Catherine Zeta Jones' baby Caris (if I"m spelling it right) which supposedly means "love" in Welsh. Somehow I just loved that and I pronounce your name the same way though I don't know if that's correct. To me the name sounds like a kiss.

I'm weird about liking foreign names but then hating made up names. Go figure.

Chrissy said...

I went to school with a Sunday Coffee. First name Sunday. Last name Coffee. Yup.

branda50 said...

I went to school with a
Marshall Marshall and a Peter Dick...

[Stacia] said...

I'll take the heat... When my first son was born we combined our fathers' names to make Tayvin. The two people that didn't like the name? Our fathers! But now everyone loves it and it fits him so perfectly. And my second sons name is Tahnyon. They're different, made-up names but I love them. Not everyone has, namely my in-laws. But the beauty of it? They don't have to like the names because it's not their choice. I have a very different name and I always loved it!
Oh, and my past hairdresser let her kids name her baby. They named it orange...and it was a boy!

NGS said...

I taught a girl whose name was Asshole (pronounced Ah-shoal-lay). Her parents were from India and it was a case of cultural ignorance.

I was in felony arraignments once (for a volunteer gig I do) and this guy was being booked on a felony assault matter and his middle name was Demon (when asked to state his name he pronounced it the same was I pronounced Damon). What were his parents thinking? Of course if you name your kid Demon he's going to end up in jail!!

VanderbiltWife said...

Oh I had to come read the comments on this post. My children are named Elizabeth and David, so I think I'm safe! (Although Elizabeth we call Libbie, yes, with an -ie, blame my husband.)

I think my best friend may have found it slightly insulting when she told me her next child she wanted to name Colin, only spelled Kaulin, and I laughed really hard.

I know you want your child to be unique and everything--but do you want them to have to spell their name for EVERYONE EVER? I went through that with my difficult maiden last name and would not wish it on anyone.

liz said...

Ha! This post cracked me up. So true, all of it. I'm a teacher, so I'm blessed with many enjoyable names year after year:
-Jyzzyka (Jessica)
-Porsche (like the car!)
-Picabo (like the skier)
-Marquiese (pronounced mar-QWAY-us)

And so on. I am all for not telling anyone the baby name until the kid is born. Wait until it's on that birth certificate, and people have a lot less to say about it. Still don't care to share that perfect name? ;)

Maddy said...

I just found a link to your blog and had to share this!! A friend of my cousin named her daughter Placenta.... she thought it sounded pretty.

The Petersen Family said...

Oh my Gosh Placenta! Now that's a good one!
One of the strangest I have hear was LMNOP pronounced by saying each letter.
Growing up in UT there was an older woman with the name Chlorine. She married into the name Vadrine. So not only did she have an interesting name but she also rhymed.
Excellent post! So much fun reading.

Daisy said...

My pet peeve on this one: intentional misspellings, or "creative" spellings. Paetyn, Paytin, or Peyton? Destini, Destinie, or Distenie?

Back when Dynasty was all the rage on TV, the poorest of the poor often named their girls Krystal. Yes, with a K. The welfare parents (I'm not making this up, I worked in the field) wanted their little girls to grow up to be Heather Locklear.

Daisy said...

After reading the rest of the comments, I must add a few.
Jayred (Jared)
April and Rain (twins)
Meadow and Sage - no relation, just classmates
Orson & Bertha; siblings

Then there was the year was had two Summers and one Autumn - or was it two Autumns and one Summer? I won't get started on the long list of spellings for Ashley and Brittney and Courtney.
As for trends, there was a that my co-teacher had five boys named Josh on her class list. Five. Same grade, same class. Something in the hospital water that year?

Anonymous said...

I was friends with male students at BYU who had names that were considered to be girl names outside of Utah/Idaho: 3 named Frances, two named Kelly, 2 named Lynn, and three named Terry. ALL of the men vehemently wished they had been given more masculine-sounding names even though they were named after beloved male relatives.

I have also actually heard stifled laughter during baby blessings, which is horribly inappropriate, but it does indicate that parents should ask themselves "Would I like to have this name?" or "Would I be embarrassed to have this name?

No matter how beloved an ancestor or relative is, if the name is considered inappropriate in today's world, a different name may be in order.

When one couple in our ward announced that they were going to name their baby Herbert Francis, there were horrified looks from dozens of people.

Doris Lulu and Dash Rush (from the Incredibles) are some unique names I've heard.

Amanda @ www.kiddio.org said...

I recently saw a boy named "Jowell" in the local paper. It's sort of like Lowell, I guess, but all I hear is "Jowl". Hmpf.

I've also known a boy named Espn (pronounced Espin, which I actually rather like, but the spelling! Gracious me!).

A friend was telling me about his son's ex-girlfriend. They didn't get along. Her name was Rage. (really? rage?? Dear God!)

My Jasper, Josephine (Josie), and Adelaide may be unusual, but at least they'll not have to spell their names aloud (too often, anyway!)

Amanda @ www.kiddio.org said...

Oh, I forgot to mention my grandmother. She and her twin brother were the last of many and went unnamed until they were five or six (their birth certificates just said "boy" and "girl", and they lived out in the far reaches of the Nebraska Sand Hills, so hey--why bother?).

They named themselves Dorothy Pauline and Donald Paul. Not my first choice, but I think they could've done worse!

Kris said...

We stuck with basic Biblical names like John, Daniel and Ethan). OH YES, Ethan is in the Bible. Find it I dare you.

I have a TON of funny, weird, ignorant names as a teacher but the name I hate the most...DAMIAN and it's assorted spelling. Any kid named that is cursed to be the worst behaved little devil ever. Trust me. Steer clear.

My SIL stole my second son's baby name after I divulged what I was going to name him. I'll never forgive her...but at least he's a weirdo kid that has now ruined the name for me.


Scribbit said...

Anonymous--I do think names that you can't tell the gender are tricky. I like knowing whether the baby is a boy or a girl thank you. You see a lot of girls given boy names, probably because it's socially acceptable for a girl to be strong and feisty nowadays but you rarely see boys given girls names. For every Courtney, Shirley, Beverly, Sidney, Jordan, Morgan, Taylor and Baylor out there Douglas is the only men's name I'm aware of that was once a girls' name. I'm sure there are others but not many.

And Kim I've heard of whole families breaking up over that name stealing thing--I know some people guard their choices against just such an occurrence.

Aleta said...

I have a Sierra (before it was popular). Rubriana (Ru-bree-anna) as I liked Ruby and her Daddy liked Brianna - so we call her Ruby ;)
A Karis and a Madeline (NOT PROUNOUNCED LIKE THE FRENCH BOOK) or Maddie.

I don't mind unique/unusual names for girls - but those poor little boys... how are they going to get girlfriends with names like Parker and Riley - lol

April said...

I forgot about a teacher I had in college named Donald Donaldson.

Also, my mom's college roommate was named Chris. She was dating a guy with the last name "Cross" for a while, so everyone teased her about becoming Chris Cross if they got married. They didn't. ;)

My name is April, and in the grade below me was a boy whose last name was May. I got the same kind of heat Chris did ("Hey, if you become April May, you can name your daughters 'June' and 'July'!"), but thankfully both that boy and I married other people!

And how could I forget to mention my husband and his sister's names? My husband is Dusty Clay [last name], and his older sister is Sunshine Rain [last name]. My in-laws swear they weren't hippies, but, really? Who else would do that?

Oh man, I keep remembering even more people I know with odd names. One of my good friends is named Jordan. Her twin brother is Joshua (Joshua crossed the Jordan in the Bible, remember?).

Then Jordan had a daughter and named her Sierra, after her favorite fountain drink (Sierra Mist). The name is pretty, but named after some soda pop? Really?

The Diaper Diaries said...

Knew of twins named Taday and Tamara (pronounced like today and tomorrow).

Also grew up with a girl named Fonda. She was a really good basketball player so during games her name would constantly be announced. Last name? Dicks.

I wish I was kidding.

I really think parents need to realize that when they are trying to be original, what they are really doing is forcing the kid to have a frustrating life of trying to spell or help people pronounce their name. As someone who spent a lifetime spelling her last name, that is ridiculously annoying.

Alice Wills Gold said...

There is a little girl that goes to school with my girls.

Paige Turner (I know you love that one)

All I know is that my girls have beautiful names. But they also happen to be the same names of a lot of other girls born in the same years.

How weird that a lot of other little girls wrote down the names Abigail, Sophia, Isabella and Caroline in their journals for baby names 20 years ago.

I am all about the classics that sound royal. I hate the made up names. Give me something strong that stands on its own.

LibraryGirl62 said...

I work in an elementary school with mostly recent immigrant families, so most of the unusual names are normal in their native lands. Those I can live with. Some that I don't get
The middle name E- (yep, E with a dash) and Xiao-Long (sholong-almost no one says the first o, it always comes out shlong)-I kind you not!His dad says it means "little dragon"-OK if you are Asian, but not so much when you are Hispanic.

Milehimama said...

I've known not one, but TWO "Tyranny"s. One was Tyranny, the other Tairinie.

One of my children is named Patrick. Once a stranger observed "What an unusual name". Um, no, not really, where have you BEEN for the last few Mar. 17?

I also knew a woman who named her son Khrystyan (Christian).

I knew a fifth child who was named Quinette.

And as for bad names - my uncle is named Lory (he got sorority, not fraternity invites) and my BIL is Leslie.

But perhaps I shouldn't cast stones. One of my kids has 4 Ss and 3 Ts, including 2 ST combos in his name. Thank goodness he didn't have a lisp. (Sebastian Thomas LastName). And one of my other poor children's initials are XQ (Xavier Quinn).

I personally love long, flowing feminine names for girls. My girls are Emilia, Valeria, Clara, and Alianna (but only because hubs wouldn't let me name her Octavia. What? She's the 8th one!)

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed everyone's comments. Our daughter almost named our 1st grand child Ollie Belle. We quickly named a new kitten "Ollie Belle" and that settled that.

anna angela said...

I'm laughing so hard. I have no kids of my own. I promise to be nice when naming them especially when I was crazy and used to like the names Strawberry and Prayer. Mind you I met a sweet little girl named Strawberry, but I won't used those names anymore! I also swore of "J" names because I know so many people with "J" names. I like Biblical names and I'm very much into the meaning/history of names.

This baby in our church is named Hannah Grace (mommy's name is Grace). It's a pretty name, but Hannah means "grace" so...Grace Grace?

My 2nd cousin is named Marielle pronounced Mar-ee-elle because that's how it's pronounced in the Philippines (her parents are immigrants, she's born here).

I had a classmate named Wedmonso because he was born on a WEDnesday, at night with the MOoN out, and a SOng was playing on the radio. His parents were cruel...

But not as cruel as Bichvan's parents. Pronounced BICK-van, but the BICK is always mispronounced as something that rhymes with mitch.

Had another classmate named Ha.
So in the Filipino culture, we say "ha?" when we mean "huh?" And so my conversation with my dad went like this:

Dad looks at a picture of my friend.
Dad: Who's this?
Me: Ha.
Dad: What's her name?
Me: Ha.
Dad: What's her NAME!
Me: Ha!
Dad: I said What. Is. Her. Name!
Me: Ha! Her name is Ha!

Evelyn Theresa said...

I have a friend whose 5 year old son wanted to name their next child, so they told him he could. The name he picked? Zeus. And they went with it. Zeus, really?

Also in junior high my friend had a foreign exchange student. She was from Mozambique. Her name was Shithead (pronounced Shi-theed.) It's really pretty when you pronounce it right, but you can imagine being the teacher reading down the roll, calling out names and coming across that one.

My daughter's name is Evelyn after her great-great grandmother. I love it. Not too common, but not bizarre or unheard of either. Another name I love is Gwendolyn, but my brother stole that one.

SIL named her daughter Bryckelle.

Stephanie said...

Some of our best friends recently had their 1st child - a baby girl. They named her Kaydence. It's one of the most beautiful names I've heard in a long, long time.


Lori said...

While my kids have odd names, my daughter a franken-name and my son named for an odd town/hebrew word, but the weirdest name I've heard was "AJ" the mother pronounced it "ah-zsa-E". It's the first thing she saw in the baby name book and decided to make up her own pronunciation. What a pain for future teachers!

Anonymous said...

A companion from my mission was named Cinneamon, last name Baird. She had red hair and a beautiful voice. She said her dad thought it would look wonderful up in lights. She also thought he just didn't know how to spell cinnamon properly and that was how she got that spelling. If the story of Lemonjello and Orangejello took place in Michigan then my husband met them when he was serving a mission there. Either that or there are more than one set....
In my daughters school class one year: twin girls BOTH named Rainbow. One went by Rainbow the other Ray Ray.
I personally love family history names. Giving a child a connection to their heritage through their name is a pretty neat gift.

Aleta said...

Oh I have to add - I baby sat for sisters one time - their names - Jessica Lynn... both of them... Jessica Lynn... the mom said she liked the first one so much she named the second one the same!!!! Seriously? She called the baby sissie... but still...

Patty said...

OK 31 years ago, while having MY girl another girl was born. Her name--Summer Eve(bless her heart) and the family Camp with Sommer Camp. Dad said next boy would be called Boot.(he wasn't!)

Lucy said...

I can't begin to tell you how much I agree. I've got one of those *$!!##* name that was made up to 'honor' somebody else and I detest it more than I can say. I've never forgiven them for giving me that.

Grrrrrrr....and #*(&##$@!!!

Scribbit said...

I don't think I could name a child Cinnamon but I'll admit it sounds so pretty. I like Saffron too but then I'm gutless and couldn't do it when it came down to signing the birth certificate.

Some exotic names really sound great--like that Jamaica Kincaid thing. I know someone here named Sonnet Calhoun and that's just as great. I'll say her name over and over.

Do you know Monserrat over at Chocolate on My Cranium? I love her name for the same reason.

But two Jessica Lynns in the same family? I couldn't do it.

Kellie said...

I went to college with a girl whose husband's name was Lampy. His sister's name was Shady. Apparently their mom let their uncle name them. In my opinion, he must have been drunk both times.

I live in Cleveland, Ohio. There are lots of interesting names here, mostly ethnic, for example, Ondra. But my husband worked with a girl in Utah named Sunshyn. He also knows a Dazzlin whose last name is Slaughter. I guess her parents couldn't do anything about the last name, but they could have helped the situation by giving her a normal first name.

Kellie said...

Also, I was trying to think of a horrible name for a character in a book I'm writing and decided to check this book out of the library, Bad Baby Names: The Worst True Names Parents Saddled Their Kids With, and You Can Too! The names here are sad, but hilarious.

Amber said...

LOVE this post! Very interesting reading the different names.

I'll add my great-great-grandmother's name, it was Tilly Wiegle (pronounced Wiggle) I love it!! But would never have the nerve to name a baby girl that.

I'm all about different and unique names. My favorite girl name is Isla (pronounce Eye-lah). I like Caroline too. And I dig Wyatt for a boys name.

My cousin and his wife named their first born daughter Prudance and call her "Pru."

To each their own! : )

Peruby said...

I was working in a high school and needed help with a heavy piece of equipment. I asked the secretary if she would call the custodian for me.

She promptly got on the intercom and announced "Would Mr. Dick Cox come to the office, please?"

I looked at her in disbelief. I said "Really?" She said "Yes".

In a HIGH SCHOOL no doubt!

Milehimama said...

I knew a Cinnamon. Her brother was named Graham, I kid you not.

Anonymous said...

My name is feeling pretty normal after hearing all these weird names.

I always feel for kids that end up getting an oddball name; as I have experienced horrors of elemtary school with a very unusual name.

But the ladies at work tell me that unusual names are the way to go. Apparently you are the odd man out if you have a normal, easy to spell and pronouce name.

Sandy said...

I went to school with a pair of twins named Zeus and Aphrodite. Seriously.

Julie said...

What a fun post! I love to talk baby names with anyone that will listen. We had a very hard time coming up with a name for our daughter. My husband and I couldn't agree on anything. He is quite a bit older than me and tends to like 70's and 80's names. You know...names of girls I grew up with and associate a lot of memories with! Haha!

We finally agreed on Lila (pronounced Lie-lah). Which I thought was traditional, unique yet classic, easily spelled and pronounced. I'm afriad she'll be pronouncing it for people the rest of her life though. We constantly get Lay-lah, Lee-la, and other pronunciations. It truely is the perfect name for her though.

My grandmother's name was Frances and she hated it. People always thought she would be a man and she would get mail to Mr... She got so frustrated and always educated people by telling them FrancES is for a girl and FrancIs is for a boy.

Scribbit said...

I never noticed that Frances/Francis distinction. Good to know!

And I love Lila. Great choice

Anonymous said...

The most "unique" one I have heard is Chandelier.
Yes, just like the decorative light fixture! Pretty word-don't know if I would want it for a name. They call her Shandi.

The Source said...

OK, Sharmel?? LOL I love that one. Sounds like an ice cream flavor!

My sister-in-law worked with a "Sharon" who was married to a Jeremy" and they named their poor baby girl "Share-a-me." I don't have any idea how it's spelled, but that's how you pronounce it.

My MIL wanted to take that concept and apply it when our daughter was born, but thank heaven we couldn't really combine Lemuel and Stephanie unless we called her "Lem-anie." Lemony??

Patricia L said...

I went to school with a Clint Eastwood AND an Elizabeth Taylor. And this was in the 80s so it was not THE Clint Eastwood & Elizabeth Taylor. Also, my MIL loves to tell the story about when she was in nursing school and on the OB rotation. One of the patients wanted to name her baby girl Genatalia. She thought it sounded pretty. And finally, when I was doing field work for my Elem Ed degree, there were 3 sisters at the school named Porsche, Mercedes, and Lexus. :)

Patricia L said...

Oh, almost forgot. I also had a friend in school named Cole Winter and her sister was Christmas Joy... and their brother Christopher. Hmm. Why'd he get the normal name?

Aunt LoLo said...

I know an absolutely beautiful little girl named "Teah." It's pronounced "TAY-uh". I've always liked it...

Aunt LoLo said...

Oh! And when my father was living in Alaska, he met one of the Native Women...she had gone to the hospital to deliver her baby, and had her first taste of lasagna afterwards. "What is that?!" "It's lasagna, ma'am." "Oh."

And what do you think she named her baby? Well, meet sweet Miss Lasagna. LOL

Janel said...

lol Love the discussion! We've got a couple Mormon friends who have children with, e'hem, unique names. I wondered about that.

We chose boys names based mainly on what screamed well. I figured that if they were boys, I'd be doing a lot of it. ; ) One syllable nicknames help.

We went very traditional: Joshua, Benjamin, Christopher. With our last name being Messenger, we were a bit hesitant to pick Christopher. But we figured that he'd probably be called Chris all the time and that would work and not be too weird. Well. Guess who PREFERS his full name? un-huh. So everyone who rolls their eyes about the horrible parents who would name their kid Christopher Messenger with all the "ers": we really did think about it, honest.

And after not being able to decide on a girl name we both liked, we looked at names with MEANINGS we like. Ariana means 'holy one'. I still remember the "oh" in my mom's voice when I told her we named our daughter Ariana.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Wait, did you confess your dream name? I didn't see that part.

Ted and his brothers all had a middle name with 'anand' in it, which means 'beloved' in Hindi. (their middle names are Anand, Devanand, and Dyanand) I wanted a little girl named either Lily Ananda, or Ananda Lily. But we didn't have another, so that perfect name goes to waste.

Michemily said...

We know of a family whose 8th child is named Octavia. And I heard of a kid named R2D2. Also our great grandmother's name was LaVera and her twin's name was VaLera.

Laurel Nelson said...

A lady at work just had a new granddaughter born and they did name her Saoirse. :)

Laurel Nelson said...

Michelle - Ashley is a boys name that has been taken over by the girls. I had an Australian pen pal as a child who had an older brother named Ashley. I asked my mom about it and she confirmed it did use to be a boy's name.

Ni Yachen said...

We started out with William, Gwenna, Benjamin, and Timothy. Then it got harder and we ended up with Xianli and Ransom. Xianli (pronounced "shyen lee") does falls into your real foreign (Chinese) name rule. :) At least it has the authentic spelling. Xianli does love how she can spell her name with an X.

Jennifer said...

So late to this party... but I feel so strongly about names I just had to share. We think naming our daughters after someone is a great legacy to share what we wish for their lives. So, they are both named after missionaries who have great names.

Charlotte Moon is named after a woman who gave her whole life, literally, to the people of China.

Mary Mitchell is named after a woman who served in Nigeria. As an added bonus, Mitchell is also my husband's middle name.

Here are links to essays my husband wrote about their names:

Anonymous said...

I just found a link to this page, and I thought I'd share some of the weird names I've heard over the years. My younger brother had a few friends with weird names a few years ago: Warlock (I kid you not) and Falcon Ford. Some more unusual names of people I've encountered: Shakahn, Heaven-Leigh, Prince and Rikkaylynne. My Mum told me about a friend of hers who had her twins in an ambulance on the way home from the hospital. She called her babies Amber and Lance. As in "Amberlance."